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definition - Nissan Cefiro

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Nissan Cefiro

Nissan Cefiro
Nissan Cefiro Excimo A33 (Japan)
Manufacturer Nissan Motors
Production 1988–2003
Assembly Japan: Oppama
Class Mid-size
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door station wagon (A32)

The Nissan Cefiro is a mid-size car that was produced by the Japanese automobile manufacture Nissan Motors. Introduced to Japan in 1988 as the A31 series four-door sedan, the Cefiro initially shared its basic rear-wheel drive chassis with the Nissan Laurel (sixth-generation) and the Nissan Skyline (R32). The Cefiro dropped its sporting pretensions in the second (A32) and third (A33) generations, switching to the front-wheel drive layout. In Europe and Australia, the A32 and A33 series models were sold as the Nissan Maxima.

In North America, the Middle East, and Africa, Nissan retailed the A32 and A33 series Cefiro sedans through the Infiniti brand as the Infiniti I30 and later as the Infiniti I35. While the styling of the Infiniti versions was essentially identical to the Cefiro sold in other markets, the same car with revised front- and rear-styling was also sold in North America as the Nissan Maxima as cheaper, lower-specification model.


  A31 (1988–1994)

  1988–1990 Nissan Cefiro (A31), Japan
  1988–1990 Nissan Cefiro (A31), Japan

Nissan released the A31 series Cefiro sedan to Japan in 1988. The top-range model used the same engine as found in the R32 GTS-t, a 2,0-liter turbocharged inline-six cylinder engine capable of just over 150 kW (201 hp). Other variants came with other versions of the Nissan RB engine. Brand new, the Cefiro was slightly more expensive than the equivalent Nissan Skyline. Many versions featured HICAS four-wheel steering as well. Nissan took the unusual step of making a left-hand drive version of the Cefiro, sold in Latin America as a Nissan Laurel Altima. The sportiest trim was called GTS-R. Unlike all the Japanese versions it was fitted with a carburetted RB24 which was a single-cam 2.4-liter RB inline-six producing 141 hp (105 kW). From 1990, the A31 was facelifted and given a softer look with revised light and bumper/grill design as well as an updated interior.

  A32 (1994–1998)

1995–1996 Nissan Maxima (A32) 30J sedan, Australia
Also called Nissan Maxima (A32)
Infiniti I30
Production 1994–1998 (sedan)
1997–2000 (wagon)
Model years 1996–1999
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
Engine 2.0 L VQ20DE V6
2.5 L VQ25DE V6
3.0 L VQ30DE V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (106.3 in)
Length 4,815 mm (189.6 in)
Width 1,770 mm (69.7 in)
Height 1,415 mm (55.7 in)
  1995–1996 Nissan Maxima 30J, Australia

Nissan debuted the A32 series Cefiro in August 1994 for the Japanese market. With the debut of the A32, Nissan changed the market orientation of the Cefiro from a premium sports sedan (A31) to a slightly larger executive sedan. Generally, the A32 was only badged as the Cefiro in Japan for the domestic market; A32s that were exported new from Japan often wore the Maxima badge. In Europe, the A32 was sold as the "Nissan Maxima QX". In Taiwan the Cefiro A32 was manufactured by Yulon under the Nissan brand. Other countries adopted Cefiro name were Malaysia and Singapore.

This particular series was softened considerably, lacking the sporting edge of the A31, losing the inline-six engine and rear-wheel drive for front-wheel drive and a V6, the latter being Nissan's award-winning VQ series engines. The Japanese market Cefiro was also offered as a wagon, as an alternative to the Toyota Mark II Qualis, from 1997 to 2000.

  Infiniti I30

  Infiniti I30, US

Infiniti launched the Cefiro in North America as the "Infiniti I30" in 1995 for the 1996 model year. All I30 models were built at Oppama, Japan (the former home of the Maxima), commencing June 27, 1995.

Infiniti released the original I30 in 1996 as a replacement for the aging J30 rear-wheel drive sedan. As Infiniti's top seller and the brand's first rebadged model, the I30 remained the brand's entry level model until the reintroduction of the Infiniti G20 to North America for the 1999 model year. The Infiniti I30 was also sold in South Korea and Indonesia.

The I30 used the 3.0-liter VQ30DE V6 engine producing 190 hp (142 kW) and shared with the Maxima. Infiniti made several revisions to the I30 over the years, including a revised tail-lights and trunk garnish. The Touring model I30t gained five-spoke alloy wheels instead of the old BBS wheels. It also came with more aggressive suspension tuning as well as a spoiler and BBS wheels, and a small percentage of first-generation I30s had five-speed manual transmissions, many with VLSD. An in-dash hands-free car phone was also available as an option.

1997–1998 Nissan Cefiro, Japan  
1997–1998 Nissan Cefiro S Touring, Japan  
1997–2000 Nissan Cefiro Cruising G (wagon), Japan  
1997–1998 Nissan Cefiro 20G, Malaysia  
1997–1998 Nissan Cefiro 20G, Malaysia  

  A33 (1998–2003)

1999–2001 Nissan Maxima (A33) ST, Australia
Also called Nissan Maxima (A33)
Infinti I30
Infinti I35
Production 1998–2003
Model years 2000–2004
Body style 4-door sedan
Engine 2.0 L VQ20DE V6
2.5 L VQ25DE V6
3.0 L VQ30DE-K V6
3.5 L VQ35DE V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,750 mm (108.3 in)
Length 4,920 mm (193.7 in)
Width 1,785 mm (70.3 in)
Height 1,438–1,450 mm (56.6–57.1 in)

Nissan released the A33 series in December 1998 for the Japanese market. In Japan, trim levels were 2.0 and 2.5 Excimo, 2.0 and 2.5 Excimo G, 2.0 and 2.5 S Touring, and 3.0 Brougham VIP. Five-speed manual transmission was only offered the for 2.0 Excimo and 2.0 S Touring. The limited edition "L Selection" and modified Autech version were also offered in Japan.

In Australia, the A33 was called Nissan Maxima and sold from 1999 through to 2002. Trim levels were S, ST, and Ti—all powered by the 3.0-liter engine.

The A33 is still in production for the Malaysian market and is available as the 3.0 Brougham VIP and Excimo 2.0 G. The Malaysian model is manufactured by Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur.[1] Another Cefiro version was built from Yulon for the Taiwanese market. It was the last Nissan Cefiro manufactured by Yulon. It was displaced in 2002 by vehicles from the GM Yulon joint-venture.

  Infiniti I30 and I35

Infiniti utilised the A33 series as an update for the I30 in 1999 for the 2000 model year. Engine power was up to 227 hp (169 kW) but the manual transmission was no longer offered in North America (available in the Middle East). One key complaint many people voiced about the A32 Infiniti I30 was that it was too similar to its Nissan Maxima counterpart. To address these complaints, differences of the Infiniti I30 compared to the Nissan Maxima for both model's redesign for the 2000 model year included a more powerful engine thanks to the addition of a Variable Capacity Muffler, completely different body styling, gauge cluster design, a foot-pedal emergency brake level as opposed to the Maxima's center console mounted lever, center dashboard design, and the availability of a rear sunshade. If one chose the I30t(t standing for Touring"), then the vehicle would come equipped with High-Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlamps with darker colored headlamp surrounds, a Limited-Slip Differential, larger, 17" wheels, and the availability of a Sport Package which consisted of a rear decklid-mounted spoiler and side-sill body extensions. The rear spoiler was offered as a dealer accessory on the non-Touring I30, but the full Sport Package was unavailable. In testing, many editorials claimed that when compared to the Infiniti I30's competition, the Acura 3.2TL and Lexus ES300, the Infiniti was a middle-ground between the two. Stating that the I30 was neither as sporty as the Acura, nor as comfortable as the Lexus.

In late 2001 the model got its most significant host of upgrades, including styling changes, minor revisions to the interior, new optional equipment, larger brakes, a re-tuned suspension system, and standard electronic stability control. The updated model was renamed " Infiniti I35" to reflect an engine displacement increase from 3.0 to 3.5 liters, with the new VQ35DE V6 producing 255 hp (190 kW).

In September 2004, Nissan announced that I35 production would cease and that model year 2004 would be the last for this vehicle. It was also the last remaining front-wheel drive Infiniti since the G20 ended production after the 2002 model year. Infiniti discontinued the I after a short run of 2004 models, replaced by the new Infiniti M which had been introduced earlier for the 2003 model year. Sales also could have declined due to the redesign of the Infiniti G, another mid-size sedan, with a coupe option, with better driving dynamics, more enthusiast-centric styling, more power, and different drivetrain options, being Rear-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive as opposed to the I35's Front-Wheel Drive.

Indonesian versions were sold from 2000 to 2002 as the Infiniti I30 Standard and Touring. The later models from 2002 to 2003 was sold as Nissan Cefiro 3.0 Brougham VIP.

1998–2001 Nissan Cefiro 2.5 Excimo, Japan  
Nissan Maxima QX, Europe  
1999–2001 Nissan Maxima ST, Australia  
2000–2001 model year Infiniti I30  
2002–2004 model year Infiniti I35  

  J31 (2003–2008)

  Nissan Teana (J31), sold as the "Cefiro" in some Asian markets

The Cefiro disappeared in 2003, but the name continues to be used in some export markets, using the Nissan Teana (J31) as a new replacement model. The J31 Teana was sold under the name of Cefiro in Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Singapore, Brunei, Latin America and the Caribbean. Ghandhara Nissan is currently the last plant which uses the Cefiro name.


  1. ^ "Nissan. Nissan In Malaysia". Car-cat.com. http://car-cat.com/firm-797.html. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 


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